The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is closely following the COVID-19 pandemic. This page contains information about COVID-19 as it relates to externally-funded research and sponsored programs. The ORA will continue to update this page as new information and resources become available. Researchers are urged to contact their program officers, as well as their pre- and post-award ORA representatives with any questions or issues that arise. We are all in this evolving situation together.
In light of the COVID-19 public health concerns, many organizations have converted to teleworking or closed their offices completely. ODOT’s Research Section, is still hard at work…. remotely. Although we are not physically in the office, the entire staff is teleworking and available via email or phone during normal business hours. Unless you are informed otherwise by your ODOT Research Project Manager, all project status calls are continuing as scheduled. While everyone is doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, we understand that the progress of research projects may be impacted.
Laboratories at universities and some private facilities have either put restrictions on the number of people that may have access at any one time or are preparing to close. Access to project staff, such as students, may become limited. Obtaining essential supplies for testing/development, getting survey responses, and coordinating for field tests/data collection may have become more difficult. While ODOT does expect work on research projects to continue, we do realize that due to these unique circumstances projects may be delayed at no fault of the researcher. Our office will take these events into consideration in regard to due dates and contract completion dates. It is essential that researchers keep Technical Advisory Committees and ODOT’s Research staff informed of any issues that may lead to a delay in a project. Be proactive. Send an email to Research@dot.ohio.gov to help document these problems in the event adjustments to the contract may be needed. Don’t wait until draft final reports are due to let us know of issues affecting projects that are related to COVID-19 closures.
No-cost time extension requests should not be submitted until the full impact on the project is known. All delays associated with COVID-19 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If researchers are unsure of what to do, contact the ODOT Re-search Project Manager for assistance. We also understand that many accounting/billing departments are in the process of converting to teleworking. ODOT is currently making the same adjustment. Quickly transitioning a paper process to an electronic one is difficult and challenging. In light of this, ODOT’s Research Section is issuing a 30-day grace period on project billing for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 on all research projects. These invoices will be due by May 31, 2020 as opposed to April 30, 2020. We strongly encourage organizations who are able to submit their invoices by the standard deadline to do so in order to reduce delays in reimbursement. If you have any questions about billing, please contact your ODOT Research Project Manager. We thank you for your participation in transportation research in Ohio. Your efforts help ODOT provide an efficient and safe transportation network to the traveling public. If you have any questions, please contact our office. In the spirit of safety, keep washing your hands.